To The Sea 2016

MOD Land, Dorset

To the Sea is a continuous, ‘real-time’ tracking shot from inside a disused quarry on military defence land to the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. The 16mm film camera, suspended in a carriage, is mounted on an automated motorised rig based on land-measuring wheels. The camera points vertically downwards, recording the contours of the terrain, starting from the quarry’s moonscape floor and ending on the cliff edge. The natural soundscape includes the squeaks of the mechanical rig as it battles the geographical obstacles of the terrain.

The apparent shifts in speed and movement in the film are dictated by the material site. As the motorised rig hits a rock, for example, the rig and camera change path, and the viewer becomes profoundly aware of how much the act of framing conveys dominance and control. The ‘drama’ in this film comes from the topography of the land, and tension is built as the film hurtles towards the end of a cliff face, looking down towards the sea below. The resulting film is a haptic representation of a site inaccessible to the public.